As the year comes to a close and Kenley’s second birthday speeds toward me like a fucking bullet train, I am so thankful for the donations we will be making to the hospital in her memory.
I was just going over the items that have been sent so far for our project and I just need to share with everyone because I am amazed by the generosity of the people involved!
So far we have-
- 21/40 boy sleepers
- 22/40 girl sleepers
- 15/40 Wherever You Are : My Love Will Find You books
- 3/40 The Invisible String book
- 1/7 Chapstick
- 4/40 Angel’s embrace figurine
- 3/40 Handprint Keepsake Kit
- 1/2 Forget me not seeds
- 29/40 Memories too few book
We also have 12 packs of tissues, all the pens requested, and all of the journals requested. The candles are being donated by Aggies on Main again! I cannot wait to get them because they smell so amazing. I know that they were able to bring some comfort to the parents who lost their babies last year and early this year.
Our gofundme has raised $580 as well! This money is going toward the book “You are the Mother of all Mothers”. 40 of these books are nearly $500. This book was so beneficial for me when Kenley died; it showed me that I was not alone in all of my deep dark feelings. I also will have some money left over to put toward some relaxing hand lotion for the care packages.
I am so excited to keep moving forward with this project! It makes my heart smile when the mail lady brings packages every day! She probably hates me — Job Security, though, amiright!?
Thank you for all your help!
After Kenley died I knew that I wanted to do something in her honor for the Hospital where she was born. I didn’t know what; nothing felt right to be honest. We ended up donating 2 large photos and they are placed in the room where she was born- 3E11-, and the room next door. I didn’t think that was enough, and still didn’t feel right. What could I do to make her name mean something to other people?
I was given a book and a rubber bracelet when Kenley was born still. I wear the bracelet every single day, as does Shane. I haven’t taken it off once since I put it on; I had it on the day Alden was born. I thought for a while about what would be good to put in the bags. I came up with a list of items that I knew would have really helped me had I received them at the time of her death.
- good quality tissues (my nose was bloody & raw from the hospitals)
- relaxing lotion
- a candle to light in honor of your baby
- two books that helped me in my early grief
- a note pad and pen to jot down information
- forget me not seeds to plant in honor of your baby
Last year, we donated 20 bags in Kenley’s name. We also donated some crocheted hats, and sleepers for the babies who are born still.
I was contacted by the Hospital and told all bags had all been used within 6 months. Twenty babies born sleeping within 6 months in my town. How? How is this still happening? I know that it’s never NOT going to happen, at least not in my life time, but it’s just mind boggling that in 2017 babies still die. The fact that these babies don’t even get a chance is what hurts the most.
This year, in honor of Kenley, we have chosen to donate 40 bags to the Hospital system. We are also going to donate 40 girl sleepers, 40 boy sleepers, and 40 books for the parents to give to the siblings (if needed). This is going to be a huge undertaking, and I’m looking forward to organizing it again this year! I’m starting things early that way there is plenty of time to organize the creation of all bags, and make sure things fall into place.
Last year, tons of people reached out to me and asked what they could do for Kenley’s birthday. I chose to have people take photos of her name and send them to me. I then printed them out and have them in a collage in my home. It was so healing to see her name written in all kinds of places, in all kinds of ways.
This year, I’m asking for people to donate to her care packages.
I’ve made an Amazon wish list as well if people would rather purchase items instead of donating money to the *gofundme account we made for donations.
I’m planning to post this information in a separate page at the top of my blog so it’s accessible all the time and you won’t have to go fishing through old posts to find the information. It’s extremely hard for us to “shop” for things that will go to grieving parents, but I don’t know anyone better to help other grieving parents than another grieving parent. It broke my heart to add all of these sleepers to the wish list knowing that they will be given to babies who didn’t get to spend time with their parents how they should. I wish that they could be worn while the child is laying in their parents arms, staring into their eyes full of joy and a future, instead of the parents staring at all they lost in their child.
I hope that you will consider taking a peek at the Amazon wish list to see what we plan to donate! (Please view the entire list as Amazon makes it impossible to set default priority settings, or simply sort by priority)
Please feel free to reach out to me if you would like to donate something than what is on the list, or have any questions what so ever! Any help or donation is appreciated SO very much!
**ALL DONATIONS WILL GO TOWARD CARE PACKAGES.**
I took Landon with me today to pick up the last 5 sleepers I needed to buy to have equal amounts of boy and girl sleepers. I told him I wanted him to help me pick them out, so he got right down to business. He has such a huge heart, and wanted to buy everything of course, but he also did something I was so unprepared for.
He picked up a sleeper that came with a bib and said “Mommy, this one is so cute, AND it comes with a bib so it’s perfect for a baby!”…
I felt like someone punched me in the gut.
“IT COMES WITH A BIB”.
Realistically, I know why I’m buying these sleepers, I know that the children who wear them will not be alive, they won’t need a bib, but I think hearing those words from Landon’s sweet naive mouth really just hit harder than I ever expected. I am so thankful to be fortunate enough to purchase these sleepers for other families, but oh how I wish things were so so different.
7 days until Christmas.
11 days until Kenley’s first birthday.
My heart cannot handle all of this sadness while trying to be happy for my son to enjoy his Christmas.
Kenley, I miss you. My heart is aching without you here, sweet girl. I hope you know how much I love you, and I hope you see all of the good I’m trying to do in your memory.
Landon spent the last weekend with my mom, and came home with pinkeye. Ugh. He has been on antibiotic drops for the 24 hrs deemed necessary by his dr and went back to school today.
Shane and I spent the entire day together. We went to breakfast, then to pick up a filing cabinet. We even drove the shitty truck.
Then, we got home and watched an episode of a show we’re binging on. After that we decided we needed to go shopping to try and finish up Christmas. We spent the afternoon at target. Then, before we went home we went to babies r us. I tried out a few gliders and we decided on one that we like.
After that we came home and had a chance to relax before Landon got home.
Days like today mean so much to me. They are special because they aren’t, if that makes any sense. We didn’t do anything special- we just spent time together. I am so lucky to have a husband who loves me. I have wicked wrinkles on my face, and I just don’t give a shit because they’re all from laughing at my husband. He is hilarious and amazing.
I bought him a Christmas gift even though I told him I wouldn’t, and now he’s mad because he doesn’t have anytime to find me something. But…he doesn’t realize that he gives me a gift like every single day. Spending the day with him is fun for me…laying on the couch watching tv is relaxing…he is my safe place. He is what calms me down. He gives me what I need, so gifts are unnessacary.
I’ve been collecting/buying sleepers to donate to the hospital where we had Kenley. I’ve had 3 people donate them to me, and I’m so thankful for them. It’s amazing to see what people are capable of when something is done out of love. I’m just going to keep looking for deals on them, and buy them up until I’m ready to take them to the hospital.
So far I have 19 sleepers, 4 of which are not here and will be preemie sized. I need to buy some more of that size.
Shane has been on board since day one with pretty much whatever I decide to do RE: giving to the hospital. Another gift that he gives me is allowing my heart to be generous. I’m sure there are men who wouldn’t be on board with their wife spending the families money on sleepers to just give away, but he knows me. He knows that this is healing me. He knows how happy it makes my heart to mother Kenley in any way possible.
He supports me…and that’s the greatest gift of all.
We purchased two large photos in memory of Kenley to be hung in the room we spent all our time with her, and another room. We have been putting having them hung at the hospital off for a long time because we just weren’t ready to go back there. We both decided it wasn’t right for us to go into the hospital and witness them being hung up, so we gave the go ahead to the hospital to hang them without us.
Both photos are engraved with a different plaque that we requested.
Seeing the room again, even on photos, cut like a knife.
I miss her. I want her back. I’m so sad without her. It’s all so unfair, and I HATE the thought of Christmas without her.
However, I think I’ve come up with an idea to honor her memory every year around her birthday. This year I am just trying to make ANYTHING happen- i.e., the care bags, the hats, the sleepers etc. But next year, id like to reach out and ask the hospital what they are in need of, and take up donations for that thing. I want to do this every year…in honor and in memory of Kenley. It could be books for the NICU, or clothes, or binkies. Whatever they need, I want to help with, in Kenley’s name.
I think it’s a great way to really make her day mean something to everyone whom participates in donation, and who will be helped by the donations.
I love her so much, and I wish so badly she were here.
Mommy misses you, sweet girl. Two weeks exactly until your first birthday.
My god, how I wish things were different.